Posts Tagged ‘potatoes’
I’ve been working on perfecting roasted root vegetables for awhile. Getting them to come out of the oven crispy on the outside and creamy on the inside is no small feat. Should you parboil first? How hot should the oven be? I’ve gone back and forth about the parboiling question. For years, I’ve been too lazy to bother and I thought that I was getting by just fine. That all changed the other day, when I followed the recipe in Jamie Oliver’s latest book, Jamie’s Food Revolution: Rediscover How to Cook Simple, Delicious, Affordable Meals. He got me to parboil again and I don’t think I will ever go back.
Click on the book to see more:
The other revelation? Heat the olive oil, along with the smashed garlic cloves and rosemary in the roasting pan first, on the stove top. Then toss the vegetables in the heated, flavored oil to coat (before roasting in a 400˚F oven). The vegetables roast evenly, and the flavor diffuses throughout.
See the nice browning on the potatoes? That comes as a result of scuffing up the potatoes while draining them in the colander. Scuffing the potatoes increases the surface area exposed to the warm air, shortening the time for moisture to evaporate the starches (sugars) to caramelize and turn brown.
And of course, don’t break the cardinal rule: make sure the vegetables are not overcrowded. Overcrowding in the roasting pan leads to “steaming” which produces limp, soggy vegetables that can’t brown. Make sure there is only one layer of vegetables and adequate space between them.
- 2 medium Idaho potatoes
- 6 parsnips
- 6 carrots
- 1 bulb of garlic
- 3 sprigs of fresh rosemary
- sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
- olive oil
- Preheat your oven to 400°F
- Peel the vegetables and halve any larger ones lengthways. Break the garlic bulb into cloves, leaving them unpeeled, and bash them slightly with the palm of your hand. Strip off the rosemary leaves from the stalks.
- Put the potatoes and carrots into a large pan – you may need to use two – of salted, boiling water on a high heat and bring back to the boil. Allow to boil for 5 minutes, then add the parsnips and cook for another 4 minutes. Drain in a colander and allow to steam dry. Take out the carrots and parsnips and put to one side. Fluff up the potatoes in the colander by shaking it around a little – it’s important to ‘chuff them up’ like this if you want them to have all those lovely crispy bits when they’re cooked
- Put a large roasting pan over medium heat and either add 2 Tbsp of olive oil. Add the garlic and rosemary leaves. Put the vegetables into the tray with a good pinch of salt and pepper and stir them around to coat. Spread them out evenly into one layer – this is important, as you want them to roast, not steam as they will if you have them all on top of each other.
- Put the baking dish in the preheated oven and cook, stirring the vegetables occasionally, until they are tender and golden brown, about 45 minutes.
After having dinner with a bunch of friends last weekend, where the conversation centered around health and sustainable eating, my husband decided it was time to make the move towards vegetarianism that had been on his mind for some time. So, while at the public library the next day, I checked out a stack of beautiful vegetarian-leaning cookbooks. One of them was Ivy Manning’s The Adaptable Feast: Satisfying Meals for the Vegetarians, Vegans, and Omnivores at Your Table. Casting about for a recipe that would use ingredients I had on hand, including potatoes and cheese (always on hand in our household), I found an inspired variation on a tried-and-true favorite: the twice-baked potato.
Since this version calls for potatoes and cabbage, the author, Ivy Manning describes it as the perfect vegetarian option for a St. Patrick’s Day feast. Recently, in her own recipe blog, Ivy’s Feast, she wrote about another twice-baked potato variation that would also be appropriate for St. Patrick’s Day: Twice Baked Irish Potatoes with Kale and Stout Onions. Yum. And she even made a cooking video to boot. See it here:
Day 29 of 31 days of pumpkin and you’re still here? You’re crazy.
I’ve been doing a lot of fattening up of recipes lately and this one is no exception. In fact, I actually adapted this one from a lighter recipe in Cooking Light Five Star Recipes: The Best of 10 Years. The book was published in 1997 and is out of print, but it’s available on Amazon:
The difference between the recipe in the book and the one I’ve published here is that Cooking Light leave out the extra 1/4 cup of Gruyere that I added and they use 1/4 cup of fat free sour cream instead of 1/4 cup of heavy whipping cream. If I had had sour cream on hand, I would have used it, but to be honest, I had a lot of heavy whipping cream on hand because of the all the garnishes I’ve had to do this week, so I just substituted it in. Their recipe also didn’t call for nutmeg, which I added in because it’s a flavor I love to mix with Gruyere and with pumpkin, so it was a natural addition.
The last difference is that the Cooking Light recipe does not call for baking the mixture in the oven with a little bit more cheese on top. That’s all me.
This is a great side dish, and perhaps a fun addition to a Thanksgiving lineup. It could use a bit more flavor, however. Next time, I might add chives to the ensemble or other fresh herbs. The pumpkin flavor was subtle. You can substitute two cups of canned pumpkin if you don’t have the fresh pumpkin all peeled, deseeded and chopped on hand. I actually did have it on hand because of this crazy pumpkin month I’ve been having.
Creamed Pumpkin Potatoes
Yields 5- 1 cup servings
Adapted (and fattened up a bit) from Cooking Light Five Star Recipes: The Best of 10 Years
4 cups peeled, cubed baking potato (about 1 1/2 lbs)
3 cups peeled, cubed pumpkin flesh
1/4 cup shredded Sharp cheddar cheese
1/4 cup shredded Gruyere cheese, divided
1/4 cup heavy whipping cream, at room temperature
1/2 tsp salt (or more)
1/4 tsp ground pepper
Pinch ground nutmeg
1. Place potato and raw, fresh pumpkin chunks in a large saucepan; add water to cover and bring to a boil. Cover and cook for 20-30 minutes or until tender; drain.
2. Preheat oven to 375˚F. Combine potato, pumpkin, cheddar cheese, half of the Gruyere cheese, whipping cream and seasonings in a large mixing bowl. Beat at medium speed with an electric mixer until smooth. (You could even pass it through a sieve to make it really smooth). Transfer mixture to an oven proof dish like a Gratin dish and sprinkle remaining Gruyere on top. Bake in oven for 15-20 minutes or until top is golden brown. Let stand for 5-10 minutes before serving.
I think of November as comfort food month, so I thought I’d kick things off by making some beef stew. It’s easy, healthy and relatively affordable. What more could you want?
Buy beef cubes pre-cut
Buy baby carrots and throw them in whole
Buy little red potatoes and just slice them in half
2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 lbs Beef Chuck cut into 1 inch pieces (you can buy it that way at the store)
2 Tbsp unsalted butter
1 large onion, chopped
1/4 cup flour
2 cups beef stock
1 cup red wine
1 Bay leaf
2 tsp dried thyme
Salt and pepper to taste
1 can (14.5 oz) ready-cut diced tomatoes
3 cups baby red potatoes, cut in half
1 bag (16 oz) frozen peas, thawed
1. Heat olive oil in dutch oven over medium heat. Add garlic and sautée for 1 minute.